First Taste

First Taste: Stoop Kid Brings Big Apple Bagels to The Churchill

Stoop Kid's Yam and Cheese.
Stoop Kid's Yam and Cheese. Natasha Yee
click to enlarge Stoop Kid's Yam and Cheese. - NATASHA YEE
Stoop Kid's Yam and Cheese.
Natasha Yee
When a new spot opens in town, we're eager to check it out, let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead, a peek inside restaurants that have just opened — an occasion to sample a few items and satisfy curiosities (both yours and ours).

Restaurant: Stoop Kid
Location: 901 North First Street
Eats/drinks: Bagles
Open: About two months
Price: $$
Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday

It was the day after MAGA fanatics tried to seize Capitol Hill and we were looking to drown our sorrows in carbohydrates. While some New Year's resolutions may include eating healthy and trimming down, we took one for the team and tried Stoop Kid — a bagel-and-burger joint that opened inside The Churchill on Roosevelt Row in November 2020.

click to enlarge The walk-up window opens to Roosevelt Street. - NATASHA YEE
The walk-up window opens to Roosevelt Street.
Natasha Yee
We focused on the bagel side of the menu because it was a morning outing, and also because you don't find a New York-inspired bagel spot in downtown Phoenix every day. We might have missed the black walk-up window carved out of The Churchill's grey industrial exterior if it weren't for a small line of fellow bagel fiends. We ordered almost the entire breakfast menu: the Money Shot, Yam and Cheese, and an everything bagel with schmear for good measure.

Stoop Kid occupies the space that was once home to Commander Hamburger, the casual sister restaurant of The Gladly and Citizen Public House. Beginning at 11 a.m., it serves burgers on brioche buns, a double beef one with caramelized onions and Tillamook cheddar called the Stoop Burger, and a single patty sandwich with diced onions and pickles, Boar's Head American cheese, ketchup, and mustard. The latter goes by the name Pobrecito, an homage to The Churchill bar that came before So Far So Good. Fried plantains and a Hash Cake are also on the menu.

Stoop Kid is owner Steven McMillen's first standalone concept. He co-owns Berdena's in Old Town Scottsdale and cut his teeth at the likes of Ocotillo and Kream Coffee. McMillen, who lives downtown, discovered his love for bagels during trips to Manhattan. When he returned to Phoenix, he couldn't stop thinking about opening a bagel shop.

click to enlarge The Yam and Cheese, Money Shot, and an everything bagel with cream cheese wait to be devoured. - NATASHA YEE
The Yam and Cheese, Money Shot, and an everything bagel with cream cheese wait to be devoured.
Natasha Yee
But back to the bagels, which are available from 8 to 11 a.m. and not actually made at Stoop Kid. Bagelfelds, a Brooklyn-born bagel maker popular at Phoenix farmer's markets, supplies the goods. The gentleman at the window informed us that Stoop Kid's kitchen is too small to make the bagels on-site.

You know when a bagel is called everything but it's really just some of the things? Not this one. The poppy and sesame seeds were plentiful, along with coarse salt and onion flakes. Biting into it revealed a buttery flavor, followed by salty, savory bliss. The cream cheese added a velvety texture to the doughy classic. This one is a keeper.

click to enlarge The Money Shot is one big bagel sandwich. - NATASHA YEE
The Money Shot is one big bagel sandwich.
Natasha Yee
One word to describe the aptly-named Money Shot: rich. An asiago bagel was stacked high with spicy bacon jam shmear, scrambled eggs, Tillamook cheddar, a Hash Cake, and a tomato slice, which helps to cut through the heavy ingredients. The Hash Cake adds comfort and sustenance. The Money Shot is the perfect hangover remedy, but not for the faint of heart.

The Yam and Cheese was made with veggie lovers in mind. Chili-glazed yams lend a bit of sweetness to this fresh concoction: tomato, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts are sandwiched together by a plain bagel smeared with red pepper romesco cream cheese. We wonder if it was inspired by Bagelfelds' farmer's market roots because it's exactly the creation we imagine after a day spent rummaging through crisp produce.

McMillen also has plans to serve coffee in the future, but that part of the business is not yet up and running.

Inside The Churchill, which sat mostly empty on a Thursday morning at 11 a.m., Stoop Kid's black, horizontally stacked subway tiles and matte black exterior are offset by neon pink lettering. "Never leave the stoop," it advises.

After our blissful bagel coma, we may oblige for a while.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Natasha Yee is a freelance writer and yoga teacher who likes to explore the city. She considers the thesaurus her best friend.
Contact: Natasha Yee